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Marine Wildlife
Entanglement is a significant threat to the health of birds, especially those which spend a lot of time at sea
Covid-19 personal protective equipment has posed a “lethal threat to nature”, a new study by scientists involving Britain’s Natural History Museum (NHM) has found. Billions of face masks and gloves produced for protection from the virus are making plastic pollution…
All-Ireland Whale Watch Day
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has decided to hold All-Ireland Whale Watch Day again. “We are delighted to announce the return of our popular All-Ireland Whale Watch Day,” says Padraig Whooley, Sightings Officer at IWDG. “This event comprises free…
A yellow gummy squirrel on the seabed - Psychropotes dyscrita, nicknamed the gummy squirrel, is a type of sea cucumber found in the deep ocean
A Pacific expedition has discovered over 30 “potentially new” marine species ranging from sea cucumbers to starfish. The new species were collected by a team from Britain’s Natural History Museum, using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the abyssal plans…
Manx shearwater flying over the sea
University College Cork (UCC) researchers say that cloudier sea waters, caused in part by climate change, is making it harder for seabirds to catch fish. Researchers attached tiny trackers to the feathers of Manx Shearwater seabirds on Little Saltee, off…
The orca pair reported off Bray Head on Valentia Island in Co Kerry
A pair of killer whales from a unique group have been sighted off the Kerry coast, as Radio Kerry reports. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has identified the two male orcas seen off Bray Head on Valentia Island…
File image of a pilot whale hunt at Hvalba in the southern part of the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands has announced it will limit its controversial dolphin unit to 500 for this year and next, as RTÉ News reports. The decision comes after a Faroese governmental review prompted by a petition calling for a ban on the…
Winds of Change at Sea poster
‘Winds of Change at Sea’ is the title of an open public discussion on the future of our seas in Killiney next week. Hosted by Fair Seas alongside Killiney Bay Community Council and Dalkey Community Council, the event will hear…
Rockabill Island off the coast of Skerries in north County Dublin holding up to 80% of Europe’s breeding Roseate Terns
BirdWatch Ireland has said it is “shocked” at the spread of a highly virulent strain of avian flu in seabird colonies in Britain, and says Ireland needs to develop a response plan urgently. No cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza…
Vital marine life data on porpoises and dolphins was returned safely to Dublin Port thanks to efforts of the Isle of Man Steam Packet's fast-ferry Manannan
Vital marine life data that was transported by ferry operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has assisted in the safe return to Dublin Port of specialist equipment for tracking the behaviours of porpoises and dolphins in the Irish…
Ireland is being represented at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan
The Fair Seas campaign has welcomed Ireland’s contribution of almost 10 million euro to address ocean challenges faced by developing countries, including small island developing states. The funding was confirmed earlier this week by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney…
The sixth-century monastic site is an internationally important habitat for seabirds
Birdwatch Ireland has expressed concern about the potential impacts of safety measures being taken on Skellig Michael, following last week’s rockfall which led to the temporary closure of the UNESCO world heritage site. The independent bird conservation organisation said it…
False Bay in County Galway
The European Commission is proposing to set legally binding nature restoration targets on both sea and land. The Nature Restoration Law will apply to every EU member state and will complement existing laws and targets. The proposal has been welcomed…
File image of Simon Coveney
Planned French military exercises near Irish waters have been halted, the Foreign Affairs Minister has confirmed. But as TheJournal.ie reports, Simon Coveney stopped short of declaring the drills cancelled outright or merely postponed, telling the Dáil today (Thursday 23 June)…
Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation
French military exercises near Irish waters which began yesterday (Tuesday 21 June) could have a significant impact on marine wildlife, says a marine group that’s called for a halt to the manoeuvres. The exercises, which are taking place over a…
Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan
Draft legislation to designate almost a third of Ireland’s waters as marine protected areas (MPAs) is “almost completed”, the Heritage Minister has said. Minister Malcolm Noonan told the Irish Examiner last week that his department would meet “shortly” with Fair…
MEP for Ireland South Grace O'Sullivan
As the United Nations gears up for a landmark conference later this month in Lisbon on ocean protection and conservation, World Oceans Day today (8 June 2022) marks what could be a crucial turning point in our relationship with the…

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!